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Warm Hearts Reach Across Philoptochos To Provide Aid
One of the great strengths of a national organization is its unique ability to provide assistance locally, regionally and nationally. A recent case in Cranston, Rhode Island is the perfect example of this collaboration.
A woman whom we will call Anna traveled from Greece to America to receive medical treatment for a complicated condition. After surgery, she suffered a severe setback, necessitating an extended stay in the US. Fulfilling their mission to help those in need, Philoptochos stewards from the local Philoptochos chapter, the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos and the National Philoptochos—three tiers of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society– came together in support of Anna.
According to local Philoptochos Social Services Chair Bessie Papigiotis, “Our chapter is the Good Samaritan. We try to live up to our name, so we sprang into action.” Led by President Georgia Pappas, the ladies investigated ways to help Anna. When Anna was being treated in the hospital, they provided rides to and from the hospital for her parents, as well as translators so that they could be kept up to date with her progress in their native Greek language.
After this, they contacted the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos and the National Philoptochos office in New York and furnished the requisite information for assistance. Because of the economic situation in Greece, the family had limited funds. The Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos provided gift cards for groceries, and National Philoptochos paid to rent a local apartment for the family. Once Anna was released from the hospital, they rented a hospital bed for her use during her extended recuperation.
“It’s an amazing feeling when the ‘family’ of Philoptochos comes together with compassion and determination, and all the pieces fall into place,” said Georgia Lagadinos, the social services representative of the Metropolis. Papigiotis added, “This is what Philoptochos does. We do it quietly, confidentially, discreetly, without fanfare, daily, 365 days of the year.”
Father Andrew George of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Parish of Greater Providence in Cranston was a constant source of strength. He visited the family in the hospital, providing Holy Unction (Efhelio) and Holy Communion on various occasions. At Easter, it was difficult for Anna and her parents to be away from loved ones at home, so parishioners brought an entire Easter feast including tsourekia, red eggs, souvlakia, katsiki tis souvlas and koulourakia.
The journey continues for Anna. Her condition is such that she will always require medical intervention. In a few months, she will return to teaching in Greece, utilizing her doctoral degree in nursing. She is grateful for the assistance and kindness she has received and plans to stay in touch with her friends in Philoptochos.
Reported by Rania Richardson, Communications Manager, National Philoptochos
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PHILOPTOCHOS SOCIETY
The National Philoptochos Society mission is to charitable, benevolent and philanthropic outreach, to preserve the sanctity of life and family, and to perpetuate and promote the Orthodox faith and traditions. The organization is led by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman; His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, Spiritual Advisor; Maria Logus, President; Jeannie Ranglas, First Vice President; Evangeline Mekras Scurtis, Second Vice President; Joanne Stavrakas, Third Vice President; Barbara Pasalis, Secretary; Martha Stefanidakis, Treasurer; and Georgia Vlitas, Assistant Treasurer. The
organization’s Director is Helen Lavorata.
- The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc. is the philanthropic arm of the Greek
Orthodox Archdiocese of America that has offered 85 years of philanthropy through a multitude
of programs that make a difference in the lives of people in the United States and throughout
the world. The Society was established in November 1931, by the late Ecumenical Patriarch
Athenagoras I, who was then serving as Archbishop of North and South America.
- Philoptochos fulfills its mission to “help the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick,
the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, those with disabilities and the
victims of disasters through its National and Metropolis Boards and its 26,000 members and
more than 400 active chapters, nationwide.
- His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America called Philoptochos, “an army of nobility and
the jewel of our Church.”
To learn more about the National Philoptochos Society, visit www.philoptochos.org. For more information regarding this material and the National Philoptochos Society, please contact Rania Richardson, Communications Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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